Friday, December 30, 2011

Quite an End to the Year

.Well, our ninth year in Texas is at an end - and quite a year it was, too! The final few months were particularly good.

A short trip to San Francisco let us catch up on western birds, including this Burrowing Owl.

It was also good to see the Pier 39 sea lions again.

However, the most exciting place to be was the Katy Prairie. A few unusual birds always turn up there in the winter and so it was not totally surprising to see the occasional Pyrrhuloxia.

Having three species of Towhee was unexpected, though.

Eastern Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Just as unexpected was seeing Lark Buntings by the score and Harris's Sparrows by the dozen.

Lark Bunting
Harris's Sparrow

The influx of uncommon birds on the Katy Prairie was the main reason I managed to get my Harris County year list to over 200 (203) species for the first time. A great way to end the year!

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